Millennials now occupy a third of the American workforce, and their influence on workplace and career norms has been much discussed. We know they value informal culture, flexibility and progressive benefits. They've also proven to be a conscientious and outspoken generation, in tune with the world around them. To this point, we're curious about millennials' relationship with their work and career. Do millennials prioritize meaningful work? Are they willing to work more hours, for less money, to make a positive impact on the world?
In our latest study, we've set out to explore these and other questions, to better understand how millennials relate to the world they're so powerfully shaping.
One of the most interesting outcomes of our study is that we’ve been able to assess how people rate the meaning of their work across different industries, types of work and company missions. The differentiation between industries is plain and intuitive. In the latter two cases, we attempted to segment the vast world of professional work in other ways, to eliminate various biases and penetrate beneath the surface layer of industry labels.
In the first instance, we looked at the work itself, know, for example, that people who manage others to their full potential in diverse industries (e.g. healthcare and real estate) may derive similar sense of meaning from their work. In the second instance, we looked at the broader mission of the organizations people work for, and how that correlates with a sense of meaning. It’s similar to focusing on the nature of the work itself, though this time it’s a vision of the collective rather than the personal.
From September 19-22, 2019, we surveyed 2,024 people who are currently employed and between the ages of 25 and 40. The average age of our respondents was 32; and 55 percent were female, 45 percent male.
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